Jumping the Start: Fred Brownfield Classic presented by Little Creek Casino Resort 
The Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Car Dirt Series presented by MAVTV Motorsports Network will be rolling in to Grays Harbor Raceway for the third annual Fred Brownfield Classic presented by Little Creek Casino Resort this Friday and Saturday.

Not only is Sam Hafertepe, Jr. the defending ASCS champion, he's also the defending Brownfield winner. Sam's also fresh off a convincing win in the 46th annual Jim Raper Memorial Dirt Cup presented by Skagit Casino Resort last Saturday. This is the second straight year he took the $15,000 top prize. Hafertepe leads the ASCS drivers in wins by far with nine, including winning the first five events. He holds a 143-point lead over former series champion Aaron Reutzel. Matt Covington, Johnny Herrera, Wayne Johnson, and Seth Bergman are separated by only 40 points for third through sixth in points.

The support class for both nights of the Brownfield are the Northwest Focus Midgets. Garrett Thomas has a slim three-point lead over defending GHR and series champion Nick Evans. Shane Smith, Nate Vaughn, and Jonathan Jorgenson round out the top five. Tristin Thomas was the big winner in the Brownfield last year, and he won the last two races at Skagit last Thursday and Friday during Dirt Cup.

Not only will the month of June end in style, July will start in style as well with a huge fan favorite with the third annual Fred Brownfield Classic presented by Little Creek Casino Resort.

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Mother Nature prevails again 
I arrived at Grays Harbor Raceway a little after 2:00 this afternoon and I came across some light rain. It wasn't bad, but it started to come down harder as the day continued. It got worse when everyone came for the drivers meeting at 5:00, and the race was called an hour later.

The Washington Modified Tour had a great turnout, as there were 30 drivers that signed in. That would've been more than enough for a B-Main. I also counted 16 sprint cars and 14 street stocks.

My next race is back at GHR for the third annual Fred Brownfield Classic on June 30 and July 1, featuring the Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Car Dirt Series presented by MAVTV Motorsports Network and the Northwest Focus Midgets.

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Jumping the Start: Round #8 at Grays Harbor Raceway 
It's almost time for round number eight of '17 at Grays Harbor Raceway. It'll be held this Saturday night with three divisions on tap.

The Washington Modified Tour comes to GHR for their second visit of the year. Defending champion Kyler Moore won the last race at Skagit Speedway on May 27 and he's also the points leader. He holds a 28-point advantage over Scott Miller. Kevin Smith, Craig Moore, and Austin Kerrigan are third through fifth.

It's a close battle early on for the 360 sprint cars. Austen Wheatley won the first race of the year at GHR on May 6 and he has a slim six-point lead over Chase Goetz. Defending track champion Reece Goetz sits third in points with Cam Smith in fourth. Jay Cole and Chance Crum are tied for fifth. Just 22 points separate these six racers.

The Cut Rate Auto Parts street stocks have three different winners in three races so far. Scott Fritts, Jack Parshall, and Jason Tole have all made visits to Victory Lane. Parshall leads Tole by twelve points, with Tole in front of Fritts by one point. Ryen Haney and Shane Kerrigan are fourth and fifth in points, but they're in the hunt for the title as well.

Race fans will get a chance to see modifieds, sprint cars, and street stocks in five days. That's a recipe for yet another exciting night of racing at Grays Harbor Raceway.

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June 3 photos ready for action 
Sprint cars, dwarf cars, street stocks, and modifieds are all in this set...oh, my! Take a quick look from last Saturday's race from GHR...

http://s113.photobucket.com/user/Racer4 ... amp;page=1

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Time to Review: 6/3 thoughts 
It was a new month, as we're already into June. Round number six at Grays Harbor Raceway was completed, and there was a lot of wild action in all four divisions that were competing.

The Cut Rate Auto Parts A-Main was scheduled for 25 laps with Ryen Haney and Brandon Babcock on the front row. Babcock had the lead as the field went into turn three on the opening lap, but fourth-place starter Austin Kerrigan was already on the attack. Austin made the pass stick on Brandon out of turn two on the second lap, and it happened just before Daryl Brumfield went spinning in turn two. The top spot changed hands again on lap number three, as Jason Tole took it from Austin at the flagstand. The race was marred by numerous stoppages, as it had seven yellow flags and two reds. The first red flag happened on a first-lap restart when Haney spun in turns one and two and was rear ended by Kirk McGinnis. Taylor Miller crashed into the wall and Brumfield plowed into an infield tire. The second red occurred with five to go, as A. Kerrigan and Scott Fritts made contact on the backstretch while racing for third. Austin nailed the wall head-on before getting drilled by Mike Mann, while Josh Anthony was also collected. Nobody was injured in the wrecks. The race was called complete with Tole winning over Jack Parshall, Fritts, Haney (after being involved in three accidents), and 13th-starting Rodger Perry.

The 25-lapper for the Pacific Hardtop Racing Association dwarf cars got off to a rocky start when Henry Corbin, II and Leo Ward touched in turns one and two, sending Ward into a huge flip. Ward was unhurt. Dylan Chrisman was the leader on the first lap, but he had fifth-place starter Andy Lemmons and ninth-starting Ryan Martinez tracking him down. Lemmons passed Chrisman out of turn four on the following lap, while Martinez followed suit at the stripe. Martinez had the lead momentarily out of turn four to complete lap three, but Lemmons took it back down the backstretch on the next lap. Martinez said enough was enough, and took the lead for good on lap five at the finish line. Henry Corbin, III made his way up to second on lap eight, as he went to the inside of Lemmons in turn two. A quick yellow flag came out with eleven laps in the books, as Mike Clark spun in turn two. Martinez, the defending PHRA champion, has been very dominant this season and won over Corbin, III. Doug McVae passed Lemmons in turn one with two laps to go to finish in the third spot. Lemmons was fourth and Rich Holbert rounded out the top five.

It was young gun versus veteran on the front row for the 25-lap A-Main for the Shipwreck Beads modifieds, with Tyler Walker on the pole and Tom Sweatman was alongside. Walker was on his way to lead the first lap, but he got loose in turn four and went spinning. Kyler Moore and A. Kerrigan had nowhere to go but into Walker's car. Kris Asche spun into an infield tire behind them and Tim Phillips also went for a spin in turn three. The night was over for Moore and A. Kerrigan. T. Sweatman took command and didn't look back. Zack Simpson was running in second, followed by Brian Harding, Tyson Blood, and Scott Miller. Blood and S. Miller came together in turns one and two on the third lap to bring out another yellow flag. Shane Kerrigan spun nearby and collected Phillips. Harding took second from Simpson on the restart, while Lane Zerbin was on a tear from 16th and he passed Del Schnitzer for fourth out of turn four to complete lap three. Another yellow came out on the fifth lap when Cory Sweatman and S. Kerrigan tangled in turn two. During the caution period, Simpson lost third when he took his car to the pits with no brakes. The race was slowed down again on the next lap for debris (a wheel cover) on the frontstretch. Zerbin had a great restart, as he got by Harding for second. Unfortunately, the evening ended for Zerbin when he spun in turn one with seven laps to go. T. Sweatman turned in another sensational performance and he took his #11 modified to his second win of the year, while Harding finished a career-best second in a modified. Asche recovered for third, with fellow Shelton racers Schnitzer and S. Miller fourth and fifth. With his victory, T. Sweatman is the points leader by just two markers over S. Miller.

The final main event was for the Summer Thunder Sprint Series. Trey Starks went for a spin on the opening lap, but the 30-lapper went green to checkered after that. Pole sitter Evan Margeson led the first lap, but outside front row starter Roger Crockett used the high line to take the lead out of turn four on the following lap. Crockett lived up to his nickname "The Rocket", as he started to lap slower cars by lap five. J.J. Hickle also went to the high side of Margeson in turn four on the ninth lap, and he made it work. Defending series champion and points leader Jason Solwold started eighth and methodically moved up through the field. He passed Robbie Price for fifth out of turn four on lap 15 before taking fourth from Chase Goetz at the same place on the following lap. Seconds later, Jason stole third from Margeson just after the flagstand. Solwold wasn't done, as he went to the inside of Hickle in turns one and two to get second on the 22nd lap. Solwold was coming up quickly on Crockett as the race wound down, but Crockett barely held on for the win by about four car lengths. Hickle came home third with Price fourth and Goetz fifth.

It was another thrilling night at GHR, so why don't we do a quick review on it? Let's do it now...

Teens and 20's, Part II: Grays Harbor Raceway continues to have very consistent car counts this season and last Saturday was another example. The STSS had 20 entries, while the street stock class and the PHRA had 19 drivers apiece. The modified division had 16 people signed in.

Father vs. Son: The father-and-son team of Shane and Austin Kerrigan were the only drivers to do double duty. They were alongside each other in row number two of the second street stock heat race. Shane went from third to first in one fell swoop on the second lap, as he passed Austin for second place in turn one before taking the lead from Haney out of turn two. Shane went on to win and he did a spin in turn one on his victory lap for extra style points. The Kerrigans shared the front row for the first modified heat, but Austin evened the score up by leading flag-to-flag.

Terrific Tole: Tole is looking to get back into the thick of things in the street stock class after winning the championship in 2013. Jason finished 11th in points in 2014, but improved to sixth in '15 despite going winless. He did even better in 2016 with two victories and ended up second in points. Thanks to his win last Saturday, Jason is just twelve points behind points leader and defending champion Parshall and one point ahead of Fritts for second. The top five drivers (Parshall, Tole, Fritts, Haney, and S. Kerrigan) are within 41 points of one another.

Ryan's on a Roll: Martinez has been red hot in the PHRA, as he has won four straight races. He won three consecutive times at Sunset Speedway (May 20, 27, and 28) before claiming last Saturday's race. Next up for the PHRA racers is a doubleheader at Cottage Grove Speedway Friday and Saturday. They'll be back at GHR on July 15, 28, and 29. The races on the 28th and 29th are part of the Shipwreck Beads Modified Nationals.

Five Alive: Wheatley continues to be at the top of his game in time trials this year, as he's now five-for-six. His time of 12.279 seconds was nearly a second quicker than his qualifying lap on May 20. 16 of the 19 racers who qualified had laps in the 12's.

Triple Threat: Doug Rutz had not one, not two, but three cars in last Saturday's race. Wheatley was in the #8R car with Chance Crum in the #8RC and Starks in the #8RX. Thank goodness some letters were placed on the wings, otherwise it would've been very confusing! Starks lost an engine in warm-ups and didn't get a qualifying lap in or run his heat race. Crum was the top finisher for the trio in ninth with Wheatley in tenth and Starks in 11th after starting dead last.

Roger and Roger Back Together: Crockett is the new driver of Roger Henderson's #7N machine, but he didn't say whether it was going to be a long-term deal. Crockett first drove for Henderson back in 1998 in the NARC/King of California Series, and reunited in '07 and '08. The first race of the year for Crockett in the #7N was over the Memorial Day weekend at Cottage Grove, where he won the $4,100-to-win Marvin Smith Memorial Grove Classic.

Number for the Weekend: 7...the number of street stocks that survived the shortened main event. There was a lot of carnage in this race and a number of cars left on the hook.

Hard Luck Award: A. Kerrigan. Austin left with two battered cars, as his street stock was destroyed with five laps to go and he was also involved in an opening-lap wreck in the modified main event.

"Never Say Die" Award: Asche. Kris came back from spinning on the first lap of the modified A-Main to collect a third-place finish in his first race in well over a year. The last time we've seen Kris was in the season finale at GHR in '15, which he won.

Next race: It looks like I won't be able to go up to Skagit Speedway June 22-24 for the 46th annual Jim Raper Memorial Dirt Cup presented by the Skagit Casino Resort because of work commitments. I'll be going back to GHR regardless for my next visit. Plan B is to come back next Saturday (June 17) for the Washington Modified Tour, 360 sprint cars, and Cut Rate Auto Parts street stocks. Plan C is the third annual Fred Brownfield Classic on June 30 and July 1.

Pictures: http://s113.photobucket.com/albums/n205/Racer4u_2006/

Blog: http://www.shauninthedirt.com/bensblog

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Jumping the Start: Round #6 at Grays Harbor Raceway 
It isn't long until we have to turn our calendars over to June. In the meantime, Grays Harbor Raceway is set for round six this Saturday with four classes ready for action.

It’s round number four for the Summer Thunder Series, and it’s their first visit to GHR this season. Two-time and defending champion Jason Solwold leads the way with two wins and he holds a 30-point lead over Colton Heath. J.J. Hickle, Austen Wheatley, and Chase Goetz are in positions three through five.

The Pacific Hardtop Racing Association dwarf cars are always a popular draw in Elma, and they have five races there in ’17. Doug McVae won the season opener at Madras Speedway on May 6, but the driver who’s on a serious roll is Ryan Martinez. Ryan has won three straight races at Sunset Speedway on May 20, as well as this past Saturday and Sunday during the Spring Challenge Weekend.

In the Cut Rate Auto Parts street stocks, it’s a battle between second-year driver Scott Fritts and three-time and reigning champ Jack Parshall early on. Fritts edged out Parshall in a photo finish on May 6, but Parshall evened things up by bringing home the main event last Saturday. Parshall leads in points by only nine tallies over Fritts. Shane Kerrigan, Jason Tole, and Ryen Haney round out the top five.

As for the Shipwreck Beads modifieds, it’s anybody’s ballgame. Tom Sweatman was victorious in the Washington Modified Tour event on May 6, while Scott Miller scored his first victory of the season on May 20. Miller has a seven-point advantage over Kyler Moore with Zack Simpson, Sweatman, and Tyson Blood very close together. The top five drivers are separated by just 20 points and this season’s just getting started.

Grays Harbor Raceway is ready for another race featuring four divisions that are loaded with talent, and this night is sure to excite.

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May 20 action is up 
Last Saturday's shots from GHR are up! I'll be back here in a week once again. Take a look around and try to stay cool...

http://s113.photobucket.com/user/Racer4 ... amp;page=1

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Time to Review: 5/20 recap 
As we get into mid to late May, it finally felt like spring. There were a few more cars last Saturday at Grays Harbor Raceway than on May 6 and it was an incredible night with four classes lined up.

The 360 sprint cars had the first main event of the night to start things off right. Austen Wheatley and Chase Goetz started 1-2 and that's how they ran in the 25-lapper. Third place starter Cam Smith had a disastrous first lap, as he did a 360 spin in turns one and two. He kept going, but fell to the rear of the field and we stayed green. Jason Reed inherited third, but he lost it on lap number four as he went too high in turn two and dropped to sixth. That allowed Chance Crum, Reece Goetz, and Jay Cole to get by. The first yellow flag came out on lap five, as Shawn Rice came to a stop in turn two. Two more yellows were displayed on the tenth go-around. Chris Batalgia looped it in turn four, then Lance Sargent went spinning in turn three and Tyler Anderson also spun out on the frontstretch on the restart. The final 14 laps went uninterrupted, as Wheatley continued to lead C. Goetz when they came up on slower cars as the laps tick away. Wheatley was trapped behind Jeff Dunlap on the last lap, and C. Goetz tried to go on the outside of Wheatley in turns three and four. Austen and Chase drag raced to the checkers with Austen winning by mere inches! R. Goetz, Cole, and Crum completed the top five.

After a false start and a yellow flag for backstretch debris on the opening lap, the third time was indeed the charm to get the 25-lap main event for the Northwest Focus Midgets off and running. Defending champion Nick Evans started on the outside of the front row and passed pole sitter Hannah Lindquist on his way to a flag-to-flag victory. Garrett Thomas advanced to second in turn four, as he used the high side to get by Lindquist on the opening lap. Evans was pulling away from the rest of the pack, as he sliced and diced through lapped traffic as the race continued. Things changed on the last lap, as Lindquist lost third when she spun on the frontstretch after contact with Shane Smith for a very late yellow. This set up a green-white-checkered finish, but it's still all good for "Bad News". Nick won it over Thomas, S. Smith, Jonathan Jorgenson, and Nate Vaughn.

Next up was the 25-lap A-Main for the Shipwreck Beads modifieds, and it was British Columbia vs. Washington on the front row. Graham Cook was on the pole, but number two starter Scott Miller showed why he's a five-time track champion by leading green to checkered. This was an entertaining race with countless position changes behind Miller, even though it had seven caution flag periods. Zack Simpson was in the second spot for the most of the event, but he surrendered it to Kyler Moore at the line with three to go. Miller prevailed for his first win of the year over Moore, Simpson, Blair Shoemaker, and Tom Sweatman.

Former track champion Chad Norton was on the pole for the 15-lap feature race for the outlaw tuners, but Josh Wharton got the jump as the green flag flew. Norton lost second place to Cory Sweatman in turn two on the second lap, and then gave up third to Tyler Sundstrom in the same place on the following lap. The race came to a grinding halt on lap number five, as Jason Valentine and Zach Dalrymple made contact in turn one. As Dalrymple spun, D.J. Beaver and Brittany Diggle hit the berm with Beaver flipping on top of an infield tire. Beaver was uninjured. Wharton was still setting the pace, but C. Sweatman was quickly closing in. Cory's attack had to wait, as Ryan Onasch went for a spin in turn two with ten laps complete. Another yellow came out on the following lap, as Miranda Newbill stopped on the backstretch as her right front tire came off. C. Sweatman lost second on the restart, as his car didn't take off and slowed a crawl in turn one. Despite the late yellows, no one can stop Wharton from getting his first career win. Sundstrom was second, followed by Norton, 13th-starting George Lovell, and Dale Speas.

Mother Nature took rounds one and three, but the Grays Harbor racers and fans persevered to get rounds two and four. Looking at the weather for Saturday, it's a very safe bet that Mother Nature is going to be defeated yet again. Let's quickly review round four at GHR...

Teens and 20's: This isn't about how cold it was last winter, although I got down to 15 degrees in Olympia just before Christmas. Like the May 6 event, all four divisions had very sturdy car counts. The midgets led the way with 24 racers and they were the only class where a B-Main was necessary. There were also 18 modifieds, 16 tuners, and 14 sprint cars when everything was totaled up.

Last Lap Heroics, Part 2: Last Saturday had four (!!) heat races that were decided on the final lap. C. Goetz stole the top spot from Anderson in turn one in the second 360 heat. G. Thomas got by Otto Jorgenson down the backstretch in the first midget heat race, while S. Smith passed Lee St. Paul in turns one and two in the second midget heat. After a T-bone crash with Lane Zerbin on lap four in the third mod heat race, Simpson roared back to win by a nose over Brian Harding with a last corner pass!

Wheatley with a 4-fer: Wheatley has been on the ball in qualifying in 2017 aboard the Doug Rutz-owned #8R car, as he's four-for-five so far. After winning the Summer Thunder Sprint Series opener at Yakima on March 31, he's been bitten by bad luck the last three races. He spun out in turn two with two laps to go in the April 1 race at Yakima while running second and collected Crum. Then, Austen flipped at Cottage Grove Speedway on April 22 and destroyed the car. In the STSS event at Skagit Speedway on May 6, he was eliminated in an opening lap wreck on the backstretch. Austen turned his fortunes around with his second win of the season, but C. Goetz was breathing down his neck and almost took it away at the very end.

Rutz vs. Goetz Bros.: The Rutz cars (Wheatley and Crum) were running first and third, while the Goetz Bros. Racing machines were second and fourth for every lap but one in the sprint car main event. Crum fell off the pace on the last lap while running third, so R. Goetz and Cole snuck by in the last couple of corners. That gave the favor to the Goetzes to take two spots on the podium, compared to one for the Rutz team.

Onwards to Oregon: The next race for the midgets is this Saturday for their first-ever race at Southern Oregon Speedway. The last time they were in "The Beaver State" was last July at Sunset Speedway with a 50-lap main event, which was won by Crum. The race at SOS is round number two of the Summer Challenge powered by Bardahl, as the first round at Deming Speedway on May 5 got rained out.

Superman Flies Again: Former track modified champion and Northwest Modified Nationals winner Blair Shoemaker made a very rare trip to Elma and he brought his #S11 car (with the Superman logo to boot) instead of Duane D'Amico's #27B. Blair had a so-so performance in heat two with a fourth-place run, but he mixed it up in the feature event with some tough GHR regulars for a spot in the top five. Blair got the job done by coming home fourth after starting very fittingly in 11th.

Jason Makes the Jump: Three-time street stock champion Jason Tole surprised a lot of people, as he unleashed a modified out of his trailer. He said it's his first mod start in nearly 20 years, back when the mods started running at GHR. After finishing fourth in heat number one, Jason started the A-Main in the tenth spot and stayed out of trouble en route to an eighth-place result.

Changing Places: I remembered a few times when I was at Skagit when the tuner drivers switched with other people on a very frequent basis. That's usually not the case with the tuners at GHR, but there were a lot musical chairs going around. Former champion Willie Wright came with his #17 car, but he's recovering from shoulder surgery and Valentine filled in. Onasch was back in his #11 Vikingmobile, as C. Sweatman was in a new #3 machine. Chris Greene was aboard Matthew Anderson's #29, Newbill was behind the wheel of Jason Parmelee's #33X, and Melvin Welch was back driving the #8X car after Dustin Tamplen drove it on May 6.

Number for the Weekend: 8. Eight is indeed great, as seven racers sported that number (Wheatley, Crum, John Stuart, Vaughn, O. Jorgenson, Steve Bulpitt, and Welch).

Hard Luck Award: Stuart and Tim Phillips (tie). John took a hard flip down the backstretch with two laps to go in the first 360 heat race. He was all right, but his sprint car was a mess. Tim was on the pole for the second modified heat, but his car never got up to speed as he took the green flag and he didn't make it out for the main event.

"Never Say Die" Award: Larson. Nik was running fourth in the midget main event until he suddenly lost power in turns one and two on lap number three. He dropped to dead last, but he got back up to speed moments later. Nik steadily moved up through the field and almost got back into the top five during the green-white-checkered finish. "The Dude" abides by crossing the line seventh.

Next race: Another trip to GHR next Saturday (June 3) for round six with the Summer Thunder Sprint Series, Pacific Hardtop Racing Association (PHRA) dwarf cars, Cut Rate Auto Parts street stocks, and Shipwreck Beads modifieds.

R.I.P. Chris Cornell (1965-2017) and Nicky Hayden (1981-2017)

Pictures: http://s113.photobucket.com/albums/n205/Racer4u_2006/

Blog: http://www.shauninthedirt.com/bensblog

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